School of Reconstruction.

Last week Duncan Baker Brown launched The School of Reconstruction an exciting project where  multi-disciplinary teams will come together to re-think, re-use and reconstruct thought-provoking new structures from discarded construction materials to demonstrate how the use of reclaimed materials could be increased in construction projects.

Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design, will take the lead bringing together partner organisations from across Europe and is a response to the declaration of a climate emergency by the UK Parliament and Brighton and Hove’s commitment to become zero carbon by 2030. It builds on the ground-breaking approach to re-use of materials taken by the University of Brighton’s Waste House project.

Vice Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris, said: “This event is a great example of how universities can help facilitate and drive new thinking locally and globally. With the world facing a climate emergency it is imperative that we embrace more responsible and sustainable ways of doing things. The demand for construction materials currently consumes half of the raw materials harvested around the world. Yet so much of that material, that could easily be re-used, is wasted or discarded. We simply cannot afford for this to continue.”

Commenting on the academic significance of the event, Professor Robert Mull, Head of the School of Architecture and Design said: “This summer school is an experiment that rehearses the profound way architecture and design education will have to change to address climate change. As such it marks a change from a model based on growth and the cult of the new to one based on de-growth, reuse and care.”

The School of Reconstruction is part of a wider programme called ‘Facilitating the Circulation of Reclaimed Building Elements’ funded by EU ERDF INTERREG which runs until 2022. The project aims to develop a range of new resources and tools to aid the construction sector to increase the amount of reclaimed material being re-used in construction projects by 50 percent.